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Harmony project - JISC Synthesis meeting 2001


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A talk I gave at JISC Synthesis meeting, 2001. Bath, UK.

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Harmony project - JISC Synthesis meeting 2001

  1. 1. Harmony and Synthesis Dan Brickley, ILRT. University of Bristol [email_address]
  2. 2. Harmony project overview <ul><li>Who? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan Brickley, Libby Miller (ILRT) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carl Lagoze (Cornell) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jane Hunter (DSTC) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What we’re trying to do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>simple vs complex multimedia metadata; ABC; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Progress: milestones and successes </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges and lessons learned </li></ul>
  3. 3. Project Partners <ul><li>Instititute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT), University of Bristol </li></ul><ul><li>Cornell University, USA (NSF funded) </li></ul><ul><li>DSTC (self-funding partner) </li></ul><ul><li>common background: metadata, digital images, Dublin Core, XML, RDF, extensibility architectures </li></ul>
  4. 4. Harmony: original goals <ul><li>Extend Dublin Core for multimedia </li></ul><ul><li>Model ‘problematic’ cases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>versioning (document workflow) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>alternate manifestations (formats, conversions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>content of composite media objects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cross domain: education + media + medicine </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Propose cheap common approach </li></ul>
  5. 5. What have we been doing? <ul><li>“ The Harmony collaboration has led to a metadata representational model (aka ontology, vocabulary, schema) and XML/RDF query implementation (query language and database search system) that supports resource discovery applications over multi-media, multi-vocabulary metadata descriptions.”(!) </li></ul>
  6. 6. In a nutshell... Metadata headaches, 1995-1999: “ works / manifestations; objects, their depictions and creators; agents, actions, change and versioning...” (everyone knew metadata could get complicated)
  7. 7. We implemented it...
  8. 8. ABC at a glance
  9. 9. Query syntax SELECT ?event, ?type, ?time, ?place FROM WHERE (web::type ?event abc::Event) (abc::context ?event ?context) (dc::type ?event ?type) (abc::time ?context ?time) (abc::place ?context ?place) USING web FOR abc FOR dc for
  10. 10. Implementation: <ul><li>Ongoing development of ABC (NSF and DELOS funded workshops) </li></ul><ul><li>Testbed collaboration with CIMI </li></ul><ul><li>Prototype query language (‘Squish’) </li></ul><ul><li>Software: query engine and database </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation feeds into ABC model </li></ul><ul><li>collaboration focus on metadata model </li></ul>
  11. 11. Implementation(2) <ul><li>Acronyms: XML, RDF, W3C, DARPA/DAML, MPEG, CIMI, RSS, OAI, DELOS (dig-lib and beyond...) </li></ul><ul><li>Testbed data: CIMI (museums, images...), OAI archives, RSS feeds </li></ul><ul><li>Schema language convergence (XML/RDF Schema, DAML) </li></ul><ul><li>opensource’d software: Java, Perl </li></ul>
  12. 12. Example RDF/XML Queries <ul><li>“ Find resources whose dc:format is audio/mp3 , whose dc:rights is and which were the output of an abc:CreationEvent involving an agent who works for the department whose home page is ” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Was that a ‘multimedia’ query? <ul><li>Multi-media content focusses our attention on mixing content from diverse contexts </li></ul><ul><li>multi-media content requires combination of descriptive techniques </li></ul><ul><li>multi-media data isn’t a world apart </li></ul><ul><li>avoid mm-specific technology if we can </li></ul>
  14. 14. Recap: solving which problem? <ul><li>Q: What has this got to do with multimedia ? (“scope creep”?) </li></ul><ul><li>A: The scope creep problem! </li></ul><ul><li>ABC and Harmony are a response to the ‘metadata wars’ (DC/Education/INDECS/multimedia) </li></ul><ul><li>...and the too many committees problem </li></ul>
  15. 15. ABC in context (1999-2000) <ul><li>The Metadata wars </li></ul><ul><li>domain overlaps </li></ul><ul><li>Warwick Framework (myth...) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Extensibility”, “qualifiers...” </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia (*) metadata </li></ul>
  16. 16. Harmonisation using ABC <ul><li>Define some ‘abstract, basic concepts’ </li></ul><ul><li>A common representational style </li></ul><ul><li>Supports vocabulary mixing </li></ul><ul><li>XML/RDF encoding for exchange </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on events, agents, relationships </li></ul><ul><li>MPEG-7 RDF encoding by DSTC </li></ul><ul><li>“ putting the multi in multimedia” </li></ul>
  17. 17. Current Activity <ul><li>Ontology Harmonisation w/shop findings </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing a 2nd DELOS w/shop </li></ul><ul><li>OAI and RDF/RSS interoperability </li></ul><ul><li>Refining the model: representing events and states (accurate versioning audit trail) </li></ul><ul><li>Track model with implementations </li></ul>
  18. 18. Project Management issues <ul><li>initial (too) tightly-coupled project plan </li></ul><ul><li>Staffing (p/t PI as uk project manager) </li></ul><ul><li>UK/US/Australia: timezones, travel </li></ul><ul><li>identifying common ground (ABC) </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation: difficult for metadata formats (usage measures? Encourage adoption) </li></ul><ul><li>dissemination (groundwork in place) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Lessons for DNER <ul><li>Metadata modularity is hard </li></ul><ul><li>Technology in this area immature </li></ul><ul><li>Standards: expensive to invest in; expensive to ignore </li></ul><ul><li>Semantic Web and DNER: wider computing industry landscape important </li></ul><ul><li>The scope problem may have technical as well as social/political aspects </li></ul>
  20. 20. Lessons(2)... <ul><li>Data formats not protocols; schemas not RPCs </li></ul><ul><li>OAI and RSS 1.0, the two largest initiatives in this tradition, both developed with Harmony involvement, are maturing fast. Cheap technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Tech complexity relates to staffing issues (file formats vs protocols) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Questions...
  22. 22. data merging / namespace mixing